Smith Associates, Inc.


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Exciting news!

Please join us in welcoming Corey Magyar, our new outside sales person. He joined the Smith Associates team effective March 1, 2017.  Corey comes with a successful sales background and an education in business administration. You will find Corey to be very helpful, outgoing, and eager to learn as he transitions into his new position. We are proud to have him on board and I know you will soon think as highly of Corey as we do.

As always, Smith Associates’ primary goal is to establish a beneficial link between the principal and the customer for the profit of all.


Investing in the future leaders of our Country:

 Smith Associates is proud to have sponsored the Eagle Scout project of Liam Stripling, Mike’s nephew.  Each year less than 5% of all Scouts reach the rank of Eagle Scout.  In order to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, each Scout must lead a project that gives back to their community.  In 2013, the latest year in which statistics are available, Eagle Scout service projects accounted for over 9 million hours in assistance to their local communities.  Smith Associates assisted Liam in procuring materials to build an outdoor stage to be used by the members of his community.  All of us at Smith Associates are  incredibly proud of Liam’s accomplishment and are honored to have had the chance to support Liam in this outstanding endeavor.


Dan Bielefield elected President of the New England Fastener Distributor’s Association:

 Smith Associates New England Territory Rep, Dan Bielefield was elected to the position of President of the NEFDA recently.  Dan has served the NEFDA over the past several years as a member of the board of directors as well as Table Top Show Chairman since 2009.  Dan will take over the President’s duties from Specialty Bolt and Screw’s Jon Queenin who did an outstanding job shepherding the Association through the transition when Executive Director Joe Soja retired and Nancy Rich took over as the organizations new Executive Director.  Going forward Dan is looking to continue to increase partnerships with neighboring Fastener Associations as well as growing the membership within the NEFDA.  Dan is honored to continue to serve the membership of the NEFDA in the role of President. 

Press Releasess

Michael Smith - American Fastener Journal Rep Profile

Born and raised on the New Hampshire seacoast, Mike Smith came to the Big Apple in1971 in search of the excitement and opportunities the city offered for an ambitious young salesman. His first job as an apprentice with a manufacturers Rep agency earned him a mere $81 weekly salary. It wasn't much, at first, but he knew that he was on his way to making his dream a reality.

Mike made due by living in a rooming house and dining at the corner hot dog stand. His goal, from the beginning, was to build a successful career as a manufacturer?s rep. So he embraced his new territory in the rough neighborhoods of New York, worked 24/7 and established great relationships and accounts selling fasteners.

The eleven years he worked for McCormick Associates gave him the field experience and education he needed to open up his own company. So in March 1982, with the help of friends and family, he started Smith Associates in a small apartment located in northern New Jersey.

He learned early on in his life, that a good businessman needs to be honorable and ethical. The methodology worked in the long run, but slowed the growth process in the beginning. He vowed he'd never take a line away from another rep, so he declined the many calls from manufacturers offering to switch their lines and sign with Mike.

So he waited, proudly. And then it took off. Wrought Washer Manufacturing of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was one of the first, followed by Dayon Spring Manufacturing of Farmington, Connecticut.

The business grew, and the apartment with Dad's rolltop desk was no longer adequate to house the demands of a growing company. He opened a new office with a staff in Hackensack, New Jersey.

As any successful salesman knows, themarketing decisions and sales policies created early on become the foundation for a company's growth and survival.

As Smith Associates grew and selling trends changed, Mike made a difficult and eventually fortuitous decision to sell to the distribution market. Armed with that stubborn Irish integrity, he vowed not to betray his customers and choose not to concentrate on OEMs. This gained the unflappable trust of his customers...the distributors.

Add to that the patriotic alliance with domestic manufacturers; he became carefully aligned with the top producers of each product line. Nylok Corporation, Ideal Fasteners, Nucor Corporation, Sems & Specials & WJ Roberts, to name a few.

The next 15 years of growth increased Smith Associates' lines and geographical regions. Five major industries including structural, electrical, military, aerospace and industrial are offered in both the New York metropolitan and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Meeting the demands of a dynamo client base, Mike decided to appoint Trish Murty to head a satellite office in the Baltimore area. With a history of being considered one of the more knowledgeable anchor specialists in the business, Trish has continued the "Smith Associates" mantra of "establishing long term relationships with honesty and integrity."

Mike's formula for success has not only put kudos on his wall and dollars in his pocket, but it has increased the bottom line for many manufacturers, as well. Inviting the challenge of handling a brand new line, Mike has contributed to the development of business for many companies. Principals like Trihex , BBC, Advanced Cable Ties and Screws Industries praise this outstanding rep company for driving their sales into new territories and uncharted industries.

With distribution company sales increasing by the millions, the demand for representation has necessitated the opening of another office in New England. Dan Bielefield, former National Sales Manager for Crescent Manufacturing, brought his sales expertise as well as experience from running headers, threaders and slotters to accomplish just that.

Both Trish and Dan are unrivaled in their knowledge of the fastener industry, which gives them the edge for guiding the many companies we represent to stronger yearly profits. Add Mike's coaching about the importance of "communication and ethics" and one has a recipe for continuing success as the best manufacturer's reps from Maine to Virginia.

"'Communication' does not mean computerization. The professionals at Smith Associates believe in the old fashioned ingredient of personal contact, supported by the facilitation of automation. Think it's not possible?

Well, pick up the phone. Call our office. Maureen, Chris or one of our team players will greet you personally and be happy to help you. "We're here to partner with our customers and principals on every level. Weknow what it takes to save money and raise your sales quotas yearly." says Mike.

All of us at Smith Associates thank our loyal principals and customers for all your faith and support over the years.

Let's make 2006 the best ever.

By Niles Wolfson, Honorary Member of Smith Associates

As the 30th Anniversary of Smith Associates approaches, it seemed like the perfect time to share our thoughts on what it took to reach this major milestone. Running a business in these tough economic times is a lot like being a contestant on the hit reality show "Survivor." It?s how you react to the tests and challenges thrown before you that make the difference between success and failure. For Smith Associates, our "Survivor" moment came when Hurricane Irene swept into town and left our offices knee deep in sewage and three feet of water.

Watching our entire office and all its contents being thrown into two dumpsters makes you stop and think about what's truly important in life. Would this unbelievable act of Mother Nature signal the end of Smith Associates? Or a new beginning? Then it dawned on us. Smith Associates was so much more than physical assets like phones, files or furniture. Our foundation wasn't built on bricks and mortar. It was built on the strength of our people, their knowledge of the industry, loyalty to our customers, and perhaps most of all, their resiliency to bounce back after an almost insurmountable setback. So, instead of "packing it in," we packed up and moved to new offices and started a new chapter in the story of Smith Associates.

The first chapter of Smith Associates actually started back in 1982. After working for a rep agency for eleven years, Mike longed to strike out on his own. So with nothing more than a phone, Rolodex and an old roll top desk, Smith Associates was born in an apartment in Rockaway, NJ. Mike opened the doors handling just two lines. Today, Smith Associates has grown into one of the East Coast's more successful rep agencies and currently represents many of the top manufacturers in the industry.

Aside from Mike's business accomplishments, there is a long list of outside activities and causes that he donates his time to. They include: Past President and longtime board member of the Metropolitan Fastener Distributors Association, an active volunteer in his church, as well as many other charitable causes, and president of the Antique Boat Club of Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey. Mike is also an Eagle Scout, although it's been awhile since he earned his last Merit badge. Yet, despite his many achievements, Mike always gives credit for his success to his small, close-knit staff.

Dan Bielefield has played an integral role at Smith Associates since 2003. A former Marine, Dan started his fastener career at Crescent Manufacturing, and currently sits on the board of the New England Fastener Distributor Association. He covers the New England and Long Island territories for Smith Associates. Dan resides in southern Connecticut with his wife Pat and their three children. He is also a third generation Eagle Scout.

The newest member of the Smith team is Stan Struble. Stan joined the team after a twenty year career at Snap-On Tools, where he moved from a warehouse position to ultimately become a dealer with multiple franchises.Stan is responsible for the mid-Atlantic territory. An avid saltwater fisherman, Stan resides in Doylestown, PA, with his wife and son. A graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy and Seton Hall University, Stan will make a wellrounded addition to Smith Associates.

Ginny Palmer is another member of our team and while her title is Administrative Assistant, it really should be "Command Central." She literally keeps "the entire internal engine" of Smith Associates running smoothly. Her resume starts with Ron Fastener, where, over the course of 15 years, she held roles as Purchasing Manager and then Manager. She spent another four years at Foster and Company. Putting her years of customer service and industrial supply purchasing experience to good use, Ginny joined Smith Associates in 2008. A proud Mother of three and a grandmother, she lives in Dingmans Ferry, PA, with her husband and dog, Madison.

The story of Smith Associates, however, couldn't be told without recognizing the contributions of Chris Smith, Mike's wife. For over thirty years, she has worked side-by-side with Mike handling the financial side of the business and offering a level of support that is quite simply, invaluable.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the success of Smith Associates. We couldn't have done it without you.

Bill Upton, President of Vulcan Steel Products was recently featured in a video published by the CBP called "Inside CBP Focuses on Trade Fraud".

Inside CBP, an in-house video production of the Customs and Border Patrol, recently featured Bill Upton, President of Vulcan Steel Products, in their expose discussing rampant Trade Fraud perpetrated by foreign companies and domestic importers.

This type of customs fraud normally takes place in the form of illegal transshipments. A typical illegal transshipment occurs when:

A product is manufactured in China that has an anti-dumping or countervailing duty order against it.

The product is shipped to another country that does not have a dumping order against it.

The product is then relabeled and then transshipped to the US. duty free.

This illegal transshipment often involves repackaging of the product to hide the country of origin and the production of fraudulent material test reports and country of origin certifications. This illegal activity is causing billions of dollars of harm to US industry and is costing the US Government millions of dollars in uncollected duties.

This illegal activity is a federal offense and in the recent case of wire garment hanger fraud resulted in the importer of record being sentenced to 70 months in jail and being fined over $7 million.

CPB is working diligently with manufacturers and importers to stop these fraudulent shipments into the United States and to ensure that allegations of illegal evasion of antidumping or countervailing duty orders are investigated.

What is a Multi-Line Field Sales Company (manufacturers' sales agency/rep)?

Manufacturers' representatives are called by many names, but the best way to define one of these firms is to think of it as an outsourced provider of field sales services to multiple manufacturers of complementary products.

When a manufacturer, distributor or service company determines that an important element of its marketing plan is contacting its customers face-to-face on the customer's turf, it has three options:

  1. Conduct the field sales process with non-sales company executives and managers who sell part-time.
  2. Hire direct sales employees whose full-time job is to contact customers and service them.
  3. Appoint professional, multiple-line field sales firms as strategic partners.

These field sales companies may be known as reps, agents, manufacturers' agents or representatives, sales agencies or even brokers. They work primarily on commission and pay their own expenses in return for a contractual agreement to be the exclusive "agent" of the manufacturers they represent in a given territory, market or for specific accounts. They profit by leveraging their time so that sales for multiple manufacturers can be made with the same customer, often on the same call.

Why sell through professional Multi-Line Field Sales Companies?
  1. Predictable Sales Costs That Go Up And Down With Sales? The manufacturer and sales agency agree in advance on a set rate of commission and the agency pays all selling expenses.
  2. Lower Sales Costs ? It is estimated that today's average industrial factory direct salesperson costs $150,000 per year. Producing $2,000,000 in new sales each year, the cost of sales would be 7.5%. A field sales agency producing the same volume at a 5% commission rate would cost only $100,000.
  3. Increased Sales ? The average factory-direct salesperson is in a territory for two years or less before he or she is promoted, transferred or defects to a competitor for more money. The multi-line sales agency has a lifetime commitment to the territory, thus holding better relationships with the customers.
  4. Immediate Access To The Market ? Sales agencies are an experienced sales team already in the territory. They are familiar with the area and have good prospects ready to consider the new line. Many agencies have multiple sales personnel and provide much deeper coverage than a single direct sales employee. Small, single-person agencies can provide excellent coverage in many niche markets.
  5. Free consulting services ? Most independent sales agents have 15-20 years of successful corporate experience under their belts. Many have held positions in large corporations prior to becoming agents.
  6. Cost of Training And Turnover In Sales Personnel Is Eliminated ? A new agent has only to learn your company's products, culture and systems, and many agents won't even need product training. All are well-versed in selling skills so you won't have to train them how to sell. The average agency has been in business in the same territory over 20 years, whereas the average employee only stays in the same place two years or less.
  7. Highly Experienced, More Aggressive Sales Force ? Today's multi-line field sales agent is highly educated and trained. Since there is no base salary to rely on, they must sell to live.
  8. Sales Forecasting Is Equal Or Superior To A Direct Sales Force ? The volume of future sales is no less predictable with agents, but it may be better since so many of today's agents use sales analysis and forecasting methods which are often more sophisticated than those of the manufacturers they represent.
  9. Broader Sales Context For Your Product ? Because agents sell several compatible items, they call on a wider variety of prospects and customers, often finding applications for products denied the single-line salesperson. The easiest person to sell something to is the customer who is already buying from the salesperson!
  10. Provides Marketing Flexibility At Less Cost ? Sales agents can increase your volume by selling outside your present marketing territory. Agents can also sell a new line without conflicting with your present sales organization.
  11. Creates A Systems Approach To Selling ? Most customers today will agree to see and buy from only those salespeople who take problems off their desks and bring opportunities to their attention. The multi-line, complementary package of products tends to make sales reps systems oriented rather than a single product oriented. Customers welcome these consultative sellers.
  12. Every Call Is A Relationship Call For Your Company ? Even when the agent doesn't present your product, he or she is cementing the customer relationship which will benefit your company in the future.
  13. Multi-faceted, Multi-skilled Sales Team ? Many multi-line field sales agents also have multi-industry experience, some holding professional certifications in a variety of industries
  14. Better Market Intelligence ? Since they carry a mix of products, multi-line agencies have a greater diversity of customers, and often can get wind of industry trends long before a factory direct salesperson.
  15. Vested Partner In Manufacturer's Success ? Since, as we mentioned previously, an agency must sell to live, your agency is interdependent with your firm. Your success is their success.








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